Who: Pride Mountain Vineyards
Pride is a family owned winery, operating since 1991. This historic property (first named Summit Ranch, dating back to the 1860's) was bought by the Pride family in 1989. Jim Pride, raised in a farming family, became a very successful dentist before turning his attention to winemaking. Pride passed away in 2004, and his two children currently own and run the company.
Where: Spring Mountain District, Napa AND Sonoma Counties
Pride Mountain Vineyards straddles the county border of Napa and Sonoma. Upon our visit, we learned just how complex this makes life. The winery itself sits smack on the border and must be bonded in each county. (Bonding is a guarantee on tax revenue on wine production.) Even crazier - wine from the Napa vineyards must be barrel aged in the Napa half of the cellar, and vice versa with the Sonoma wines. As the original name Summit Ranch implies, this gorgeous property sits atop Spring Mountain. The far outside end of the cellar has a patio with stunning views of the vineyards and distant mountains.
Wine: Known for Cab, but impresses around the board
Pride's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays, and Viognier are their most heralded wines, if you can accept the number of times they've been served at White House state dinners as an indicator. The walls of the tasting room are adorned with copies of the menus, being served under D and R administrations. Pride also continually gets 90+ point scores from the big critics, if that's important to you. The fruity and spicy Merlot and rich Syrah were favorites of our visit, and we couldn't resist leaving with some Syrah.
Why: The Wine Quality and the Location!
I liked everything I tasted at Pride Mountain. Their focus is clearly quality Bordeaux (plus Chard), but they branch out successfully to a handful of others to keep it interesting. For a famous "Napa" winery, the tasting experience at Pride are incredibly affordable at $20. The tour includes a walk through the cellars with some barrel tastings, culminating in a few glasses of wine on the patio overlooking the mountains. Our host Katrina made our visit a blast, with her sharp wit and relaxed demeanor. It's not advertised, but bring a picnic lunch and spend more time there, soaking in the views and savoring the wine. Feel free to stroll around the vineyards while you're at it. This is a laid-back place, which is so welcome compared to other Napa peers.
Review from Wine for Normal People